Do you struggle to sleep? Do you have a dog? Does that dog sleep next to you at night? No…? Well, due to new research, it might be time to rethink your decision to keep your dog in the kitchen overnight.
A new study from Mayo Clinic researched into whether having a dog in your bedroom would disturb or help you to sleep. From personal experience, I was skeptical about the findings of this experiment because, on behalf of my own 8-year-old Jack Russell, if anything makes a noise at night – be it an owl, a car going past or simply voices outside – she’s gone. Barking and growling until they fade into the distance. As much as we love her, it gets old very quickly. Whereas, if she was downstairs, I doubt we would wake up so much and we would get a better night’s sleep. It’s just that we’d never do that because we love her too much…
The researchers spent four months evaluating the sleep of humans and dogs occupying the same bedroom. 40 healthy adults without sleep disorders took part with their dogs. None of the dogs were under six months old. For seven nights, the humans wore accelerometers to track their sleep and their dogs wore an equivalent. The study found that regardless of the size of the dog, having them in your bedroom improved your sleep quality.
Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Centre for Sleep Medicine on May Clinic’s Arizona campus said in the study’s release that “Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption. We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”
However, the research found that if the dog was on the bed, the owner slept more restlessly but if they were simply on the floor in the bedroom, that is what improved the human’s sleep.
Krahn also said that “Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day so they want to maximise their time with them when they are home, and having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that.”
If you or your parents are on the fence about having your family pet in the bedroom while they sleep, force them to read this and hopefully the cold kitchen floor will be a friend no more to your animal!